Graeme competed in the Marathon des Sables in 2013 and came 366th overall, it took him 37 hours and 55 minutes. His book gives a detailed account of how he came to be doing the MdS, his training, and his actual experience during the event (including a very detailed chapter on how to go to the bathroom!)
He also includes a detailed packing list (with the weights of the different items) and a nice little question and answer section, covering off topics: such as what food he took, should you take a camera? Do you need flip flops or hotel slippers? Etc.
It was a great book to read, it gives a good idea of what to expect. It’s well worth the money, (£1.97) it’s a quick interesting read, about thirty minutes or so and it provides lots of useful information and tips. So much so, I’ve found myself going back to it a few times to re-read certain sections. This time I decided to make a note of all the useful and essential “need to know” information provided, just to have it all in one place.
Have a training plan for endurance.
Have a gym plan focused on core work, body conditioning and strength training.
Only start training with a pack in the final 3 months and build up the weight gradually. Any earlier and you’ll risk injury.
Before you go
Attend a Sandbaggers Seminar where you can have an ECG done. This needs to be done 30 days before the event.
Do a 50 mile race so you’ll know you have it in your legs.
Get your weight down, the lighter you are the easier you’ll find it.
Test everything: food, clothing, recovery shakes, head torches etc before you take it to the desert.
Pack weight is a minimum of 6.5 kg. Aim to be as light as you can be.
Wear the same clothes all week.
T-shirt – Z mechanic 2.5 silver reflector heat top (to draw heat from the skin and keep you cool in the hot sun).
Equipment he took
Backpack – Original Raidlight Olmo 20 – (which includes a whistle and also a cord for the flare)
Bottles 2 x 700 ml (Osprey)
Sleeping bag & silk liner
Mat – (Klymit X Litre)
Spare socks – 1000 mile fusion
Ipod Nano & headphones
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Mini duct tape
Esbit Solid Fuel Tablets
Head torch with batteries & spare batteries
10 Safety Pins
Button Compass 1 or 2 degree precision
Whistle (on bag)
Swiss Army Knife
Anti-Venom Pump - Aspivenin
Aluminium Survival Sheet
Cash – 200 euro – take two 100 euro notes (these weight the least)